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Tara Ariano

S02.E06: Valerie Cooks In The Desert

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An all-day shoot in the desert could sabotage Valerie's plans for a date night with Mark. Meanwhile, Paulie G. gets anxious when Valerie discusses early reviews of "Seeing Red."

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HBO started the show saying "...and now the season finale of The Comeback"-- I didn't think it was supposed to be the season finale, but their intro made me watch the episode wondering if this were the last one of the season.  Wow, talk about a bleak ending if that had been it.  I was glad that the previews at the end tell us there are actually two more episodes.  I guess HBO got carried away, since both "The Newsroom" and "Getting On" are wrapping up tonight.

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That "season finale" thing threw me as well so that made the episode more tense.

 

I couldn't watch the screen as Val showed up at the rental house at the end.  I was sure Mark wasn't alone and my heart was just breaking for Val.  She knows her marriage is imploding and yet she refuses to do anything about it other than trying to not stir the pot.   That note she left was just too much.

 

I loved Val taking a stand out in the desert to wheel-chair guy and the assistant director/female, she had every right to be pissed about waiting for 12 hours in the damn heat when the new script wasn't even finished.  Why couldn't they shoot this on Sunday and let Paulie G finish the script that Saturday?

 

did we know Mickey has cancer?

 

 

We found out about Mickey being diagnosed with cancer in the episode where Val is taking improve classes.  We were first alerted to Mickey having a health issue in the season premier.

 

This episode needs to be Lisa's submission for the Emmy's.

Edited by CMH1981
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Nice meta-shoutout to Matt Leblanc. I'm not sure the Gigi encounter worked. Too much. And yes, I was put off by the early announcement that it was the finale. It threw me off.

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Gigi's back story in the first season was that she was a successful playwright, so she stands as an object lesson about the seductions of Hollywood. Though she should feel she can break free, Gigi, like Valerie, is miserable chasing the chimera of Hollywood success, but too much in thrall to separate.

Why would a show that couldn't afford to build a set for Mallory's house send an entire cast and crew on location to shoot a woman in a car trunk?

Some disconnect there.

But no criticism from me. This is a great show and I love it. Real palate cleanser after the hard to swallow Newsroom.

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Why would a show that couldn't afford to build a set for Mallory's house send an entire cast and crew on location to shoot a woman in a car trunk?

Some disconnect there.

"HBO" most likely threw some more money into the show for the reshoots, which Pauly G is spending on massages.

 

My heart sank when Marky Mark sheepishly revealed that he had made plans.  I hope it isn't too late for Valerie.

 

I loved the moment where Valerie was in the catering truck making the dinner for Mark.

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I loved Val taking a stand out in the desert to wheel-chair guy and the assistant director/female, she had every right to be pissed about waiting for 12 hours in the damn heat when the new script wasn't even finished.

 

 

Mickey's body is failing right in front of her eyes and Valerie's worried about being hot.  Her cluelessness is growing every episode.

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The most shocking line of the show was "Oh, your on camera." I kind of want to see Valerie when she isn't playing for the camera. I want to see her be normal.

That line was the show in a nutshell!

Val says, "I'll make dinner plans. After all, I'm the wife."

Mark: "Whuh?" then "oh,.."

Great throwawy.

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Wait, i'm confused here, didn't Mickey say he is on chemotherapy currently?  Perhaps I misheard but I thought the meds he is on are giving him the rapid bowel movements.  

 

I don't see Val ignoring Mickey's issues currently.  He was the one who decided to use her bathroom due to proximity and she didn't know how noisy it would be, granted it is a small trailer and I saw that scene playing out like that as soon as he went to her bathroom.  She seemed concerned about him and agreed he shouldn't come out to the desert.  Season 1 Val would have said he had to be there for her hair and for moral support.

 

Do we know how much time has jumped forward since last episode and this episode?  I'm guessing at least a month or so based on Mickey and his chemo and they are shooting the season finale.

 

I wonder what Jane's true motivations are for taking this on project w/Val.  I don't think it's just to get her documentary in the hands of HBO.  I think she bonded w/Val during the Comeback and she is concerned about her well being and trying to protect her after last time.  Wouldn't it be awesome if Paulie G's show fails but Jane turns this footage into a documentary about a former tv star and the crumbling of her life all around her.

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I actually do think Jane kind of cares for Valerie. She told Val that she didn't like the way Paulie G was treating her (and women) during the scene where "Mallory" stood next to the topless models.

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I actually do think Jane kind of cares for Valerie. She told Val that she didn't like the way Paulie G was treating her (and women) during the scene where "Mallory" stood next to the topless models.

 

I think Jane has divided loyalties.  She does care about Valerie, but also wants to make the best documentary (or whatever the heck that thing is they are filming), which means putting Valerie's needs second. 

 

 

Mickey's body is failing right in front of her eyes and Valerie's worried about being hot.  Her cluelessness is growing every episode.

 

I don't agree.  I think Valerie knows exactly what is happening with Mickey, which is why she tried to make him feel better about his bathroom explosion in her trailer, and she agreed that he should not come to the shoot in the desert.  Heck, they showed in an earlier episode that she's paying his salary, which I'll admit is partially so she can have someone who is on that set just for her, but I also think she has Mickey around because she honestly likes him and cares for him.  

 

The Gigi scene was a little too silly for me.  Maybe if they didn't make her so pathetic that she was randomly bursting into tears in the middle of a grocery store, but it was just too much.  The only thing they didn't have was her having a conversation about her "children" only to reveal that they are all actually dogs. 

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The Gigi scene was a little too silly for me.  Maybe if they didn't make her so pathetic that she was randomly bursting into tears in the middle of a grocery store, but it was just too much.  The only thing they didn't have was her having a conversation about her "children" only to reveal that they are all actually dogs.

I agree that the Gigi scene was too OTT, but we saw some terrific reactions from Valerie. I also thought the prosthetic neck was distracting and not very convincing.

I wish Mickey had not snarked on Gigi's "weight gain." He is overweight himself, afterall.

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Yeah, the fat Gigi scene was a misstep. It went on way too long, and I don't like to see obesity made fun of.

 

I finally realized that Valerie's diction is channeling Katherine Hepburn.

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Yeah, the fat Gigi scene was a misstep. It went on way too long, and I don't like to see obesity made fun of.

I finally realized that Valerie's diction is channeling Katherine Hepburn.

Me, too. I really don't enjoy watching people joke at the expense of overweight individuals.

I would not have noticed the Hepburn had I not read Emily Nussbaum's review in The New Yorker.

Valerie made a few good jokes in this episode. To Shauna/Shayna, "What, we couldn't shoot on the surface of the sun?" (paraphrasing)

"My stay-at-another-home-husband."

"Well, Matt LeBlanc isn't giving you blowjobs! . . . Not that I know of, anyway."

I wonder why Whole Foods didn't want them to use their store.

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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I personally loved the Gigi scene, and it was completely fitting with the Gigi character.  Gigi has always been a lost soul in a man's world, and self medicated with food. I liked to hear that she continues to work and is 'successful' but a complete fucking wreck personally.  She also got some great snarky lines in.  I didn't see her scene as some kind of extended fat joke but another cautionary tale of the soullessness of the entertainment industry in LA.

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I haven't seen the episode (yet; but there's always HBO On Demand) but it sounds to me like Val has learned this (paraphrased) lesson: (and I'm not overly religious but sometimes Jesus is right on):

What does it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

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17wheatthins, where are you posting, so that I can enjoy and "like" your posts? It is very kind of you to like ours!

Eta: thank you for replying, 17wheatthins! Just wanted to make sure that you knew we appreciate you very much!

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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The Gigi scene could have been done without the cartoonish fat suit. At this point, the scene was the only misstep in the series. Pretty awesome record.

How many episodes are left? 2?

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So, was that the same actress who played Gigi in the first season? I did not recognize her at all, and I had watched the whole first season when HBO re-ran it the Saturday before the 2nd season premier. 

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So, was that the same actress who played Gigi in the first season? I did not recognize her at all, and I had watched the whole first season when HBO re-ran it the Saturday before the 2nd season premier. 

 

Yep, same girl.  It was probably because of the ridiculous-looking fat mask they had her wear.  Anyway, I liked the Gigi scene--it was really just a sad continuation of what she was dealing with since we last saw her.  I felt bad for laughing when she kept saying, "But they chose GirlsGirls!" and lamenting that HBO should've picked her (similarly-themed) show instead.  Hollywood is a rough place, and she is just dying everyday being there, which is why she's gained even more weight.  So ridiculous fat mask aside, I thought the scene was well-done.  God help her and her future child.

 

My favorite scene (aside from Mickey's explosive bowels), was the constant takes with Valerie in the fake snake trunk.  I completely lost my shit when Dance Dance Revolution insisted on the one live snake and Valerie says, "nowhere near me"--only for them to pop the trunk and have the snake perched on her shoulder seemingly ready to strike! 

 

Loved Valerie dropping that people-pleasing pretense and letting Ron have it.  Even though Val's one of the most annoying, self-absorbed people of all time, she deserved better treatment from those people.  "Okay, Shayna?  Don't try to coax me into coming to set either anymore, okay?  Stop with the invitations, all right, I'm not a child.  You want me to come to set?  Just tell me you want me to come to set, I'll come...it's probably not your fault, probably teach you that in A.D. school..."  Lisa is a damned genius, I tell ya!

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I finally realized that Valerie's diction is channeling Katherine Hepburn.

 

I just did a season 1 rewatch and Val did an intentional - and  very bad - Kate Hepburn in one episode.

 

As for GiGi, I found it a little sad that she was a successful writer for PLL but still very unhappy. 

 

Loved Valerie making the beef rollatini for Mark. That's probably one of the few times she's been happy on camera and not making it all about her.

 

I fear for Mickey. I hope there's a season 3 and I want him in it.

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Just finished this episode. Valerie's GPS: "You have arrived at your destination." Valerie, from inside the car: "Have I." God, this show makes me so unreasonably happy.

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